Overnight red a good sign for Growing Greens

KAPA‘A — Almost overnight, everything turned red, said Marit McHugh, manager of Growing Greens Nursery in Kapahi.

“It was starting to turn, we had some signs of red, and all of a sudden, it’s all red,” she said Friday. “It must be the weather.”

McHugh was talking about the 2010 crop of poinsettia which is scheduled to start shipping next week to various commercial outlets, malls, churches and people with standing orders.

This year’s crop included about 5,400 plugs that were brought in August and raised at the Kapahi location. Now that they are in bloom with the holidays looming, the deliveries will start going out.

“This isn’t the biggest crop we’ve had,” McHugh said. “But then, the economy dictates what we need to do. Our best year, we had about 8,000 plants going out.”

Included among her plantings is “Ice Crystal,” a new variety brought in last year that has proven to be a solid seller, McHugh said.

“We brought in just a few last year and people grabbed them up almost immediately,” she said. “This year, we’ve brought in a few more and, already, half of the crop is going to Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club and some of the jewelry shops around the island. We’ve also put some in lava rock for decorations.”

The lava rock poinsettias are something new Growing Greens is trying out this year, the plugs being placed into specially drilled-out lava rock and growing bonsai-style.

“We’ll put them in an arrangement with lava-rock cinder surrounding them, place a few holiday decorations and it’ll go out as a nice centerpiece,” McHugh said. “The Mokihana Club has already ordered a bunch to go out in a couple of weeks.”

Poinsettia in a basket is another new item being featured by Growing Greens for this holiday season, utilizing red, pink and white.

These icons of the holiday form the centerpiece for Growing Greens, but McHugh said there are other items the nursery will offer to people celebrating the holidays.

“Our shipments of Norfolk come in next week, and in addition to those live trees, Liz Ronaldson will have an assortment of bedding plants in red and white so people can decorate their yards in the colors of the season,” McHugh said.

Impatiens in red and white are already on order for the Marriott, one of the nursery’s biggest accounts.

“This year, we’re shipping to the Kukui Grove Center for their holiday decorating,” McHugh said. “We also have our standing-order customers as well as landscapers, churches and other establishments.”

On Christmas Eve all the remaining plants are taken to All Saints Church.

“They only have a certain budget for Christmas plants, and they bunch them together to make a nice arrangement,” McHugh said.

Growing Greens, a member of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, said this is one example of the Kaua‘i Grown program in action.

“This is a crop, it’s grown on Kaua‘i, and used by local Kaua‘i businesses,” McHugh said. “We bring in the plugs in August, and by Dec. 24 it’s shipped out, but it’s definitely Kaua‘i Grown.”

Visit www.fungarden.com or call 822-3831 for more information.

Overnight red a good sign for Growing Greens

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